I love art. I’m not sure exactly when in life it became important to me, but it is. The walls of my study are covered with it, and each piece tells a story. Some reflect photos of special moments in family history, some are gifts from friends, and some are purchases made to commemorate meaningful life events.
Having immersed myself into a world of science throughout life, I find that art enhances the quality of it. It introduces a tapestry of rich colors, interesting textures, and a variety of shapes that can lift one’s spirits or speak wordlessly to the human soul.
As an engineering student at Georgia Tech, I took graphics my freshman year. Since engineering graphics largely requires drawing straight lines using a T-square, I was extremely disappointed that I earned only a “C” at quarter’s end. How is that even possible? Were my ruler-guided lines less straight than others?
As a dental student, however, I quickly came to appreciate that the oral cavity and its structures within, contain no straight lines! By learning to carve the various shapes and contours of teeth, refine the occlusal anatomy and function of each, and establish incisal guidance, freeway space, and the curves of Wilson and Spee, I realized that dentistry truly is a blend of both art and science.
Although I apparently failed to draw straight lines at Georgia Tech, I became empowered with creativity through dentistry. While providing clinical care for thirty-eight years, I carved thousands of wax patterns to be cast into gold restorations and refined the occlusal anatomy of tens of thousands of Class II amalgam and composite fillings. Perhaps that’s when I learned to love art.
As I sit in my study composing this blog, I am inspired by the pictures on the walls that surround me, for each piece tells a story. I believe our lives are like a rich tapestry of art, colorfully woven from experiences and events, textured by tragedies and triumphs, and shaped by love, laughter, and achievements.
As your life unfolds, may it be enriched by the pictures on your wall, and may life’s experiences bring you a sense of peace, purpose, satisfaction, and joy.
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“I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey. As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you’re going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won’t be able to refold it no matter how smart you are.
So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have a picnic with a pig.”
Kermit the Frog
It’s Not Easy Being Green by Jim Henson